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Kari Piiroinen and Ruben Rafkin Win Bronze at World Junior Championship

Ontario Hockey League

 

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to recognize 12 OHL players who earned medals at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, Alta.

The United States closed out the unique but highly successful tournament amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with a 2-0 victory over Canada in a closely contested matchup that saw the Canadians take the shooting column 34-21, pressing hard right down to the final buzzer.

Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) recorded an assist for the Americans who claimed their first World Juniors gold medal since 2017, improving upon a sixth place finish last year in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. Kaliyev completed the tournament with eight points (4-4–8), tied for second in U.S. team scoring. Defenceman Hunter Skinner (London Knights) was also part of the American squad that finished the tournament with a 6-1 record, collecting six consecutive wins following an opening night loss to Russia.

Eight OHL players were members of Canada’s National Junior Team that earned silver medals playing on home ice. Connor McMichael (London Knights) led Canadian OHL talent in scoring with eight points (4-4–8) over seven games while Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) trailed closely with seven (2-5–7). Canada’s World Junior Team was coached by back-to-back OHL Coach of the Year Andre Tourigny (Ottawa 67’s), finishing the tournament with an overall record of 6-1. The silver medal puts Canada on the podium at the World Juniors for the fourth time in the past five years.

Finland placed third, defeating Russia 4-1 to secure bronze as Windsor Spitfires teammates Kari Piiroinen and Ruben Rafkin both factored into the success. Piiroinen played in six tournament games, going 4-2 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. The bronze medal puts Finland on the podium for the second time in three years, and is their first third place finish since 2006.

A total of 27 past and present OHL players competed at the 2021 World Juniors. The tournament will return to Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., next year when the cities co-host the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

OHL Medalists at the 2021 World Juniors:

Gold Medal – United States (2):
Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Hunter Skinner (London Knights)

Silver Medal – Canada (8):
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)
Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)
Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)
Ryan Suzuki (Saginaw Spirit)
Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)

Head Coach – Andre Tourigny (Ottawa 67’s)
Equipment Manager – Chris Hamilton (Ottawa 67’s)
Security Liaison – Bob Martin (London Knights)

Bronze Medal – Finland (2):
Kari Piiroinen (Windsor Spitfires)
Ruben Rafkin (Windsor Spitfires)

For full coverage of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, visit iihf.com or hockeycanada.ca/worldjuniors.

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